What is the Community Foundation?

Get to know the Community Foundation

A community foundation is a vehicle for people of all means to make a lasting difference in their community. The central purpose of a community foundation is to serve the needs and philanthropic aims of donors who wish to better their community, now and in the future. Community foundations do this by providing donors with flexible, efficient, and tax-effective ways to ensure their charitable giving achieves the greatest possible impact.

The concept of a community foundation is as ingenious as it is simple – it is a means to build community resources dedicated for charitable purposes, over time, potentially creating endowment funds for program sustainability.

Founded in 1997, the Chillicothe-Ross Community Foundation benefits people, institutions and communities in our area. Because endowed funds are never spent, they are permanently invested to produce income. The income earned is then used to help meet the community’s charitable needs. So, gifts to a community foundation continue to benefit a community forever.

The Community Foundation makes it easy for donors to create new or transfer existing endowment funds for whatever purpose that interests them, including unrestricted funds that allow the Community Foundation to address changing needs of the community now, and for years to come.

Donors may set up individual funds in their name or the name of a loved one and have as little or as much influence as they wish in determining which charities benefit from the fund. Or a donor may choose to contribute to various existing funds to serve particular purposes.

The Chillicothe-Ross Community Foundation is governed by a local board of directors chosen for their knowledge of the community and designed to be representative of a broad cross-section of the community. The directors further possess expertise in the many areas of management necessary to carry out the stewardship functions of the foundation. We keep local philanthropy local.

We are a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax-deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to a public charity. Community foundations are classified as public charities under the tax code. Some donors can claim larger tax deductions on gifts to community foundations than gifts to their own private foundations.

A community foundation represents a wide variety of ideas and interests of individual donors who have united in a common purpose – bettering their community both now and in the future. Whatever the charitable intentions, there are ways to achieve them through gifts to a community foundation. 

The Community Foundation enables donors to become architects of our community’s future by:

  • Pooling community charitable investments to maximize the value and growth of all our endowment resources, and the community through grant awards to nonprofit organizations;
  • Combining our volunteer expertise offered by community leaders, academic experts, and other experienced people, who are often on the front line of issues, to help determine the best use of grant resources; and
  • Bringing people together to explore important issues, enabling us to create new approaches to solving community problems.